Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Leila Leiz
Colourist: Giada Marchisio
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Olivia Kade has just been attacked at her book signing event. The attacker managed to kill two police officers before she could be stopped, screaming about killing the prophet while taking on an increasingly demonic appearance.
Olivia’s book is concerned with the ‘decline of humanity and moral value in society’. There seems to be a direct correlation between the release of Satyr (that’s Olivia’s book) and an increase in violent crime, leading some to believe the book is somehow responsible for this wave of violence.
Thematically there’s some interesting ideas in The Last Book You’ll Ever Read #1, and while that’s something I’m very much interested in, I don’t necessarily think this issue is a very good setup for the story to come. I’m left with the feeling that this first issue gives everything away in the blurb and that there’s not a lot more to be gained by actually reading the comic.
As a character Olivia feels featureless, a Mia Wallace look-alike who’s entirely disinterested in the attacks being made against her or the dangers presented by the book she’s written. Equally, supporting characters Willow (Olivia’s manager I guess) and Connor, her soon to be personal security, contribute little to nothing. In fact the two radio hosts who discuss Satyr and its effect on those who read it have more depth in their two page appearance than anyone else does.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not always a fan of Cullen Bunn’s writing. While he’s written plenty of books I’ve liked, he also has books that just aren’t for me. Perhaps that’s the case here. Equally, after reading Mother Of Madness I was looking forward to seeing more of Leila Leiz’ artwork, though in this issue I do feel like her art is a little bit too rough and nowhere near as polished as it was in M.O.M., though I appreciate that this might be a creative decision to be more in keeping with the horror genre.
Giada Marchisio’s colouring works well for the gruesomeness of the issue and although a lot of the story takes place at night there’s a good sense of brightness when the story permits.
Jim Cambell’s lettering is as consistent as ever throughout and the sharp edges on the attackers speech bubbles are a nice touch.
Overall I’m coming away from The Last Book You’ll Ever Read #1 feeling quite underwhelmed. Perhaps my expectations were a little bit too high and I’ll feel differently by the time the second issue comes around, but right now I feel like this instalment was lacking in a lot of the substance it needed to deliver on. I do wonder if this would be a better start to the series without the supernatural aspects in place.